Objective: To evaluate the effect of Kinesio Tex tape and its method of application, Kinesio Taping (KT) on knee extensor performance before and after an exhaustive isometric knee extension exercise.
Design: Single-blinded, randomized control trial.
Setting: Centre for Sports Training and Rehabilitation at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Participants: Twenty-six healthy volunteers with no history of knee injuries.
Interventions: Subjects were randomized to either the KT or sham taping group.
Main outcome measures: The effects of KT on the neuromuscular performance of the knee extensors were measured before and after KT application, and immediately and 5 and 10 minutes after an exhaustive isometric knee extension exercise.
Results: Within-group analyses revealed a significant effect of time on the peak torque in isometric knee extension (F2.73,65.44 = 24.5, P < 0.001), but no significant group (F2.73,65.44 = 2.13, P = 0.11) or interaction (F1,24 = 0.59, P = 0.45) effect. A significant time effect (F2.52,60.14 = 3.75, P = 0.02) and a significant time × group interaction (F1,24 = 4.59, P = 0.04) was found for the rate of peak torque development. Post hoc comparisons revealed significantly higher rates in the intervention group (F1,24 = 4.594, P = 0.04) over all 5 tests. No significant effects of time (F4,96 = 0.88, P = 0.48; F2.56,61.35 = 2.75, P = 0.06), group (F4,96 = 0.56, P = 0.69; F2.56,61.35 = 1.16, P = 0.33), or time × group interaction (F1,24 = 2.77, P = 0.11; F1,24 = 0.20, P = 0.66) were found for either the electromechanical delay or electromyographic results, respectively.
Conclusions: The present study suggests that KT shortens the time required to generate peak torque during isometric knee extension, which has important implications for sports performances that require the rapid generation of peak muscular force.
Clinical relevance: Kinesio taping is commonly seen in the sports arena. The popularity is presumably due to the general belief in its injury prevention and enhancement of muscle performance. The results of the present findings suggested that KT shortens the time to reach peak torque generation. Aside from this, there is no other significant positive effect on muscle performance. Further investigation on the effects of KT on muscle performance is warranted.